Managed to get over 1.5hrs in the Gym - virtually all Cardio exercise - and lived to tell the tale.
Most advice about barefoot running is to take it easy. Its been known that runners who can normally run 8 miles upwards without thinking twice about it, can experience great calf pain when trying out the barefoot running style. Frequently terms such as ‘listen to your body’ and TMTS (too much too soon) are used.
In preparation for this, I started to do small periods of workouts & stretches that focused on calf work and strength. Many people poo-poo the use of ‘active’ computer games like the Wii, but I found some of the balance games, the Obstacle Course and the jogging parts of Wii Fit Plus very useful to help build up calf muscles and get used to relying less on heels when walking or running.
So the gym session involved 25mins on the treadmill which included running just over a mile in the barefoot style which went quite well – I didn’t ‘heelstrike’ (ie having the heel of the shoe impacting on the ground first) too much that I was aware of. This was followed by walking for a bit (to get my breath back) before I shook off the shoes and ran in my socks.
It doesn’t sound like much (and the UK Olympic long distance running team aren’t in any danger of being replaced) but I managed the recommended 1/4mile no probs before chancing my arm and going 200metres further. I felt I could have gone further but didn’t want to push my luck (see TMTS earlier) plus the friction between sock and treadmill belt was generating heat.
Tired but happy that calf pain isnt evident – and pleased for Man City winning the Premiership even though I don’t support them.